The Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) and the Institute of Competitiveness (heard of them anyone?) recently conducted a study on the best cities to live in India. They concluded that New Delhi is the No. 1 city to live in! Among other things, the city ranked 1st terms of safety and transportation. Now that’s news to me!
According to me, Delhi is one of the most unsafe cities in India, for women at least. I’ve often been advised that when in Delhi I shouldn’t be relying on public transport such as rickshaws, taxis etc. at night. I’ve also been told “if you’re a woman, make sure someone drops you home after a night out. If you’re driving back home by yourself late at night, ask someone you know to follow you.” I’ve heard and read numerous stories about crimes against women taking place in Delhi, often in broad daylight, than in any other city. How then does that make Delhi the safest city in India? Or does women’s safety not count now that we have 33% reservation in Parliament?
Delhi is also not known for its public transport. Apart from the metro, getting around can be a major pain if one doesn’t own a vehicle. There are hardly any taxis in the city except for the ones plying on an 8-hour/80kms basis and we have all heard about the killer DTC buses that expect people to get on & off while the bus is still in motion.
Mumbai on the other hand ranked 1st in terms of housing (is anyone else about to faint reading this like I did?) and 4th in terms of safety!!
From personal experience I can vouch that finding a house to rent in Bombay is a nightmare and being able to afford to buy one in a decent area is next to impossible. And that Bombay is one of the safest cities - if not THE safest - for women in India. I loved the fact that I could hop onto a rickshaw or a local train by myself pretty late into the night without having to fear for my safety.
It came as a shock to me that Kolkata, a hotbed of culture and politics, should rank 3rd in "socio-cultural political environment" and 14th in terms of safety among 37 cities in India. Kolkata may not be a Mumbai in terms of safety but it’s a pretty safe city to live in.
Kozhikode, in Kerela, was ranked 1st among the 37 cities in India for the best healthcare and medical facilities.
Does any of this make sense to you? It doesn’t to me. And the researcher in me can’t help asking this question – what was the sample size for this study and who were the people they interviewed? Folks tripping on LSD??